Monday, October 18, 2010

PIMIENTO-PECAN CHEESE SPREAD CROSTINI


Before we moved to New Bern, I had never even heard of pimiento cheese spread.  The first time I saw it, I thought, "Who would eat a sandwich of this stuff?"  Boy was I wrong.  Pimiento cheese spread is totally addictive, and I am in love with it.  On crackers, on bread, with celery, or as a topping for a burger, I make it often now and keep it on hand for snacks.

Here is yet another use for this marvelous spread:  make a delicious appetizer.  Toasted French bread topped with cheese spread and roasted red peppers can be served as is or can be placed in the oven for just a few minutes.  Either way, everyone loves this crostini.

Pimiento-Pecan Cheese Spread Crostini
Source:  The Bear Cupboard
Rating:  9.5 out of 10
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For Pimiento-Pecan Cheese Spread:
3/4 cup toasted chopped pecans
1 (3 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, or Neufchatel cheese, softened
2-1/4 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 cup mayonnaise
4 oz. Monterey Jack cheese with jalapenos, grated using large holes of box grater
1/2 tsp. Louisiana pepper sauce
1 (10 oz.) pkg. good-quality aged cheddar cheese, grated using large holes of box grater
1 (4 oz.) jar diced pimientos with juice
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

For Crostini:
1 baguette, sliced
1 jar roasted red peppers, sliced in thin strips

Prepare pimiento-pecan cheese spread:  In work bowl of food processor, pulse pecans till finely chopped.  Transfer to medium bowl.  Combine cream cheese, garlic, mayonnaise and Monterey Jack cheese in work bowl; pulse till smooth; transfer to bowl with pecans.  With spatula, stir in cheddar cheese, pimientos and parsley*.  Refrigerate.

Prepare crostini:  Heat oven to 400F.  Place baguette slices on baking sheet and toast till crisp, about 5 minutes each side.  Spoon some cheese spread on each baguette, then top with some roasted red pepper strips.  Serve immediately, or place back in oven for about 5 minutes to just warm the cheese.  Enjoy!

*Please be sure to add the parsley last.  Otherwise, you might get green cheese spread, as I did the first time I made this.


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